Labourer jailed for scrawling graffiti to man he dreamt about

SINGAPORE - An odd-job labourer scrawled messages on the walls of shopping malls inviting a man he had dreamt about to come and meet him "if he had the guts".

But Chew Wee Tiong's bizarre scribblings only spelt trouble for the 43-year-old, as he was jailed for 14 weeks on Thursday.

As well as two counts of mischief, Chew also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of being unlawfully armed with two weapons.

Three other mischief charges were considered during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tang Shangjun said Chew claimed to have met Mr Cha Mei Hai in Thailand several years ago.

"Recently, the accused alleged that he had impressions of this said 'Cha Mei Hai' in his dreams when he slept at night," said DPP Tang.

"As such, the accused set out to find this 'Cha Mei Hai' to ascertain the reason why he appeared in his dreams."

To try and locate Mr Cha, Chew decided to write messages to him on the walls of buildings around Bugis in the hope that Mr Cha would come forward after reading them.

"The buildings that the accused used his marker to write on were chosen because the accused knew that these buildings had a high level of human traffic, and that his writings would attract a lot of attention," DPP Tang added.

Chew left his Hougang flat at around midnight on April 24 last year, dressed in a long-sleeved jacket and cap to avoid detection.

He reached Fu Lu Shou Complex in Rochor Road about an hour later, took out a blue permanent marker and wrote a message in Chinese on a wall of the shopping centre which meant: "Cha Mei Hai, come out (if) you have guts."

He scrawled similar messages at places including Bugis+ mall and the National Design Centre.

The court heard that cleaners managed to remove the graffiti.

Three days later, a patrolling police officer spotted Chew at the void deck deck of Block 625 Hougang Avenue 8 at around 6.15pm and decided to search him.

The odd-job labourer was then found with a penknife tucked into his shorts and a cutter inside his waist pouch. Chew said he carried them in self-defence.

For each count of mischief, he could have been jailed for up to a year and fined. And for being unlawfully armed with the knives, he could have been jailed for up to two years.

Court documents did not reveal Mr Cha's details.